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The Black Dahlia (2006)
Elizabeth Short and Hilary Swank look NOTHING alike!
I think this was the biggest failure of the movie. De Palma seemed to depend on the audience understanding the cops' obsession to better understand how the murder of Elizabeth impacted their lives. I'm willing to bet that if these two women actually looked alike as much as they were made out to be, it would have offered a much more interesting, provocative insight to the film (though it would still be a mess).
Once again, De Palma is making ANOTHER version of Vertigo's main theme: obsessing over a woman who looks so much like a dead one.
At times, the movie seemed so much like a cheap Hitchcock homage. And De Palma even plagiarized himself - with the address on the matchbook reminiscent of The Untouchables, as well as the scene where Bucky races upstairs to try to save Lee. All we needed was a baby carriage...
I apologize for the venting -- I was just so disappointed with this film.
POST SCRIPT: This is the first time I've seen a hideous, laughable performance by Scarlet Johansson. She's no where as bad an actress as this film makers out to be.
Disguised as a Detective Thriller!
The opening title credits of Vertigo have to be the most alluring, engulfing, provoking titles Hollywood has ever seen. The spirals guide you into the state of mind of the characters, as well as the tone of the film.
Jimmy Stuart, plays against type, classic of Hitchcock's directorial style. He transforms Stuart from the Aw Shucks character we all love, to an obsessive, anxiety-driven flawed human being. And Kim Novack- how did she learn to act so quickly? Her performance is breathtaking to say the least.
What makes Vertigo very enjoyable for me is that it's a love story disguised as a detective thriller. Sure, the suspense is there, and more effective than ever, but this movie is about LOVE. Oh, love justifies why Judy lets Scotty do those horrible things to her. Love explains why Scotty loses her in the first place. Hitchcock has proven himself as the master of suspense, but I think that this film, along with Notorious, elevates him to a director that understands the burning passion that can exist between two people.
The music, once again Bernard Herman has come through, really ties the film together. There is actually more music than dialog, setting the mood and hypnotizing us ever so gently. The nightmare sequence is reason enough to see it- so abstract, so expressionistic. Finally, the use of color and> cinematography bring forth a dimension that was totally new and unexpected in Hollywood.
I would argue that Vertigo is Hitchcock's best film. I would argue that it's even one of the best American films ever.